Test Taking Tips and Tricks

Test taking tips and tricks

We all have our own tried and true test taking tips and tricks, and with test taking season upon us, it’s important to be prepared.

Test taking brings a myriad of emotions and potential challenges for students and parents alike, but with expert-approved test taking tips and tricks we can help our students approach them with confidence.

This year feels especially stressful as many students will be taking these exams in person for the first time in two years.

Whether your child is preparing for AP exams, SAT/ACT, state testing or finals, Franklin is here to support.

We have put together our favorite test taking tips and strategies to help calm everyone’s nerves and prepare your student to do their absolute best come test day.

Test Taking Tips and Tricks: Before the Test

Start early.

The best way to prepare for an exam or test is to start early!

Write the test date on a calendar and then help your student create an outline and a manageable study plan that breaks up the work up over weeks instead of days.

Visit the exam website.

Standardized tests often offer practice tests and study guides on their websites.  Take advantage of these free resources that will help familiarize your student with the material they will see on test day.

Check your school portal.

Many teachers will upload study guides and resources materials to their class website to help their students be even more prepared for the big day.

Study smart.

Many students will think they need to study for hours each night to prepare for single exam.  This unfortunately can lead to burnout and added stress.

Instead, study in shorter 20-30 min increments, depending on the age of your student.  These shorter study sessions, done regularly, will help prepare your student without overwhelming or fatiguing them.

Take study breaks.

This is especially important if your student is preparing for multiple exams.  Encourage them to get up and move, step outside and get some fresh air, stretch and have a snack.  They will be surprised at how much better they feel!

Think outside the box.

There is so much more to studying than reading the text over and over again.

Consider how your student learns and come up with new ways to engage them with the material.

Here are some of our favorite examples:

      1. Flashcards can be placed all over the house and then used in a scavenger hunt.
      2. Jeopardy is a great way to turn study time into family game night, bonus in that whole family learns something new.
      3. Have them create their own online practice test and quizzes.  They can share with other students for extra practice and reinforcement.  This is especially great for older students craving more independence.

Hire a test prep tutor.

Did you know Franklin Educational Services provides test taking support for students?

We offer a number of test preparation strategies, including test taking tips and tricks, to help students achieve the best results.

Franklin approved test prep tutors help students understand concepts, build confidence, reduce test-taking anxiety, improve time management, and boost scores

Test Taking Tips and Tricks: Day of the Test

Get good rest.

Make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep before any test or exam.

Eat something brain boosting and nutritious.

Make sure your student has a balanced and nutritious meal at both dinner the night before, as well as breakfast the day off.

Students perform their best when they are distracted by hunger or feeling sluggish from too much sugar.


Make sure your student drinks plenty of water the day before the exam.

They should check their exam rules to see what they will be allowed to bring with them.  If water is allowed, it is highly recommended that they bring some.

Double check their supplies.

Each exam and test is different, therefore it is important for your student to know what they will need to bring with them.  Make a list and have them check it off before leaving for the exam.

Test Taking Tips and Tricks: Managing Stress and Anxiety

Stay positive.

Students rely on the adults in their lives to be a calm presence when their world is topsy turvy.  Staying positive and calm about the exam will help to set the tone and provide your student a energy to follow.

Teach your student to breathe.

Help them get started by trying one of these breathing exercises.

Focusing on mindful breath is such a great and quick way to calm down and redirect.

Consider trying mindful meditation.

Encourage your student to try a guided or mindfulness meditation.  Meditation can not only relax your student, but can also help build confidence and increase focus.

Here are some of our favorite free resources for mediation:

Get moving.

Yoga, stretching, 30 minutes at the park are all great ways to move the body and release any stress or tension that has trapped itself.

Take a creative break.

Coloring is a great way to decrease anxiety, improve focus and relax the mind.  Try downloading one of these mindful coloring sheets.

Exam Resources

Here is a list of out favorite test prep resources.

  1. AP Central at the CollegeBoard.  Has official practice materials and free resources for all AP exams.
  2. SAT Suite at the CollegeBoard.  Official SAT resources that are free and available for all to use.
  3. ACT – The ACT website provides free practice exams.
  4. Kahoot – Students, teachers and parents can create subject specific flashcards, quizzes and virtual games.
  5. PrepDog – This is a great site for K-8 standardized test prep.
  6. QuizIZ – Similar to Kahoot, students and educators can create their own lesson plans, quizzes and turn them into fun and engaging games.